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Nintendo reverses into quarterly profit on yen, sales growth

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A shopper walks in front of Nintendo's Super Mario characters at an electronics store in Tokyo, Monday, July 13, 2015. Satoru Iwata, who led Japanese video game company Nintendo Co. through years of growth with its Pokemon and Super Mario franchises, died on the weekend of a bile duct tumor, the company said Monday. He was 55. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO >> Nintendo posted an $67 million profit for the fiscal first quarter, helped by better sales and a cheap yen, but did not announce a new president to lead the company after the death this month of Satoru Iwata.

Quarterly sales at Nintendo Co., the Japanese video-game maker of the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises, rose 20 percent to $729 million.

The future direction of the Kyoto-based company could change, depending on who succeeds Iwata. Earlier this year, Nintendo did an about-face and announced it would go into games for mobile devices, a move it had scoffed for years.

No successor for Iwata has been announced, and the company has said it will take its time.

Iwata, president from 2002, was a highly visible spokesman for Nintendo, and many in the game industry mourned the 55-year-old’s death, which followed a long illness.

Nintendo has said star game designer Shigeru Miyamaoto will remain in the leadership team along with Genyo Takeda. It is unclear whether one of them would be the next president.

Nintendo had reported a 9.9 billion yen loss for the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.

The manufacturer of the Wii U home console left its annual profit forecast unchanged at $283 million.

Nintendo said sales were strong for the 3DS hand-held device, as well as for its amiibo figures.

Nintendo sold 470,000 Wii U machines for the April-June period this year, down from 510,000 the same quarter the previous year. It expects to sell 3.4 million for the year through March 2016.

Foreign exchange gains added 10.8 billion yen to operating income in the quarter, Nintendo said.

The company returned to profit in the fiscal year ended March 2015, after several years of losses.

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